Putin is playing a typical S&M (aka domestic abuse) game with the US. He provokes, provokes, provokes, and then finally gets his ass whupped and is content. That is short-lived, though. The anxiety begins to build, and the cycle repeats.
The tragedy is that this is always done at the expense of completely innocent bystanders. It’s a bloody shame that the US allows itself to play this ridiculous role. This kind of game doesn’t end until one of the S&M pair dies. Or leaves the relationship. And that’s unfortunately rare.